London’s Oxford Street is set to be traffic-free by 2020 as part of the clean-air initiative laid out by the Mayor of London’s office.
All traffic including buses and taxis will be banned from the shopping street – one of the world’s premier shopping destinations – as part of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to tackle air pollution.
Valerie Shawcross, London’s deputy mayor for transport, told the London Assembly that the ban would stretch from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch. This is the first time a ban has been implemented on the eastern section.
The pedestrianisation will coincide with the opening of Crossrail.
Cars are already banned along a section of Oxford Street between 7am and 7pm every day except Sunday, but it is a major thoroughfare for buses and taxis.
Oxford Street and nearby Regent Street have frequently held traffic-free shopping days, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, which has campaigned for reduced traffic in the West End for many years, said: “We look forward to seeing and discussing detailed proposals for Oxford Street following Ms Shawcross’s statements but feel very strongly that any form of vehicle free zones must lead to a genuine reduction of traffic, rather than large scale re-routing down smaller residential or commercial streets.
“In addition, it must be accompanied by a full economic assessments to measure the impact on businesses and the shoppers and workers that travel to the West End every day via public transport.”